Home Selling in Florida>Question Details

Nicole St. A…, Real Estate Pro in Pensacola, FL

If you are a recent home buyer or currently looking- have you gone to an open house? Are open houses a thing of the past or should I have one?

Asked by Nicole St. Aubin, Pensacola, FL Fri Feb 12, 2010

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Even though over 87% of buyers use the Internet to shop for homes (according to the National Assocaition of Realtors)... open houses are NOT a thing of the past! But many Realtor do not like holding open houses. I have sold homes as the direct result of doing an open house. When I do an open house, I don't just rely on the open house signs to bring forth buyers. I use the Internet to promote my open houses on my local MLS, Realtor.com, Trulia, Blogs, and LOTS of other websites. I usually get a fairly good turn out.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Rockinblu, I even went to great lengths explaining why an open house could be great for buyers and realtors. <sighs> I guess thumbs up and best answers are getting harder to get.

Debbie, Mark does not think I am a buyer. I have no idea what he thinks I am. I guess to much education about real estate disqualifies one as a buyer.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
I prefer to do open houses when there's not a lot of completion (which is most of the time in Flagstaff... except a few weekends in the summer). I think the Internet can help drive traffic to an open house with the right pictures and remarks.

I like to do an open houses with new listings... sometimes the first weekend it's on the market if I listed it in the beginning of the week.

I sold one home by having an open house a few days after a price reduction. I made the open house hours super short... just two hours! I wanted to pack the open house and create more interest in it. The short hours worked! The open house was VERY busy... and the person who bought it hung around the whole time and watched all of the other buyers checking the place out. He made an offer a few hours later through his agent… and bought the home for just $2,000 below the listing price.

Douglas Fuller, Realtor, GRI, ABR, e-Pro
Certified Relocation Specialist
Prudential Northern Arizona Real Estate
Direct: 928-607-0242
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Oh Rock....now you're REALLY going to get it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If he's lucky!

(oh... I hope I added value to the conversation with that one... can't have dunes reporting me again ;-) )
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 15, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
Oh Rock....now you're REALLY going to get it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 15, 2010
Well Dan...&...Rock.........I gave you thumbs ups for being the only consumers to answer!

Tell Mrs Rock I gave her an honorary TU for helping you with your response Rock (I am still laughing at the faceboogerin')

Doug lucky you!.........I see you're new to trulia - what a nice way to start off .........getting an accidental Best Answer!

Nicole - you'll get the hang of it...........welcome to trulia, too!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Nicole, it really doesn't matter about the best answer to me. More of a fun to make fun of thing.

I know it takes awhile to get used to any new interface you come across.

Trulia can be a helpful resource both for finding helpful answers and potentially some nice clients and cooperative agents. I hope you continue to find it worth while visiting.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Still laughing at that one Rock!

(maybe I should hang out at open houses with Mrs Rock - sounds like she is having more fun than I am!)

ps I knew it wasn't a typo!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
Open houses are great for a new not sure what they want yet buyer.

They will not buy the first house they see with almost a 100% guarantee. But what they will do instead is to look at many houses and find out what they like and dislike. Having open houses allows these confused buyers to figure out just what they do and do not like about houses. When they are finally ready to buy after looking at many open houses they will be able to say what they really want in a house, or at least be very very close.

I have done very similar myself. The only difference is that instead of going to open houses I have gone into the double-wides and modulars on a lot. Usually the salesmen almost completely ignore me. I get to get a feel for what kind of things I like and dislike based on going through a whole lot of houses. As an example, some bathrooms could be to big, others to small. Some bedrooms are to small, some are great. Some hallways work well, others make you run into things.

It is shocking how sometimes a double wide manufacturer can make a very bad floor plan. I went into one (maybe it was a modular) that almost as soon as you went in the house put a wall in your way. Horrible design flaw in my opinion. Kitchen islands, I find them more and more annoying every time I see one. Breakfast nooks, I am not sure, kind of nice BUT then you have to buy 2 kitchen tables from what I have seen.

Window sizes, natural lighting, and basic layout preferences can be figured out after looking at a few dozen houses. I see having an open house as more of a learning tool for potential buyers. They search out things they like and dislike.

Buyers can and will use open houses to help form an opinion of what they want in a house. As such any realtor who has one is helping buyers to figure out things they do or do not like AND gives them self a chance to find a new client. Plus, even if it only results in a sale 1 time in 100 it makes the sellers happy thinking their agent is actually trying things to sell their house.

Those same buyers may also find some agents they like or would never want to do business with at an open house.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
Rock - I always value your opinion on most everything...............and now I value Mrs. Rock's opinion, too............thanks for the input - it's good to know

ps.not to worry, we won't tell the mrs. you called her "old school" -
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
Well Robin, just to respond to your point - I am kind of a literal person, and I respect someone else's right to ask what they want to ask, and if I can't provide an answer for that specific question, I don't

I would assume if Nicole wanted agents's points of view, she would have asked for them, and posted the question in a more generic manner.

Maybe I am wrong, and Nicole can certainly speak for herself.......... and I hope she does...... but at times here on trulia people sway from what is asked......

So far, she hasn't gotten an answer to her question - just a number of opinions related to it..but not the responses she was hoping to generate.

There have been lots of discussons here on trulia regarding the value of open houses..........most of the time, the responses indicate it is totally area specific..........lots of agent feedback seems to show that.............

It might be nice to see how buyers view it, and I assumed that's the response Nicole was going for.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
Debbie, you are right that the answers are all from agents, but that also is good for Nicole to see. Sometimes you don't sell the house, but if you gain a serious buyer, isn't that worth something?
I have attended some open houses with real estate agents. Some are very successful, in that there is good attendance from serious buyers, and other get almost no attention. In thinking about the well attended ones, I see that these are homes that are well priced for the area, and where there are not as many homes for sale. At open houses where there are a lot of short sales and foreclosures, and you are priced to high, people don't show up.
Nicole, as an agent I think you have to ask yourself whether you have the 2 hours to devote to the open house. If you are spending all your time taking out prospective buyers, then you might not want to spend it at an open house. On the other hand, if you are just going to be spending the day at the beach, you could spend 2 hours of that time at an open house, and at least your sellers will be happy that you are working for your money.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
Nicole ...............I just read your question and the 2 responses, and it made me laugh......you specifically asked for recent home buyers or lookers to respond - to get their feedback on open houses..............and what did you get instead ? ??

2 agents!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 12, 2010
So we sold the house!! Got the call during the Open House so would say that the open house helped, although the buyer actually viewed it the day before. We did have a farly good turnout at the open house on Saturday, I did a short one and actually found a few people who came by before it started to get a sneak peak before anybody else arrived. Thanks for your answers= as for my weekends, I guess I should give a few hours up for open houses regularly, to find and educate buyers and to motivate them!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 2, 2010
Alan - anytime you need a straight man (I mean woman) call me.... :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 15, 2010
Mark, obviously rockinblu and I have a terrible business model.

He does not have any way to contact him at all. And my links point back to my blogs.

Somehow, we have to figure out how to make money as both of our current models are not even potentially giving us any profit.

p.s. hey rockin... did you here et? We is perfezzionuls now. i wunder hew mich lunger intul we git pade?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 15, 2010
Debbie, Dan and Rock aren't consumers. They are clearly professionals. Consumers don't bother to post 1,300 comments!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 15, 2010
Ha, I actually pressed the best answer button on accident trying to repost the questions about the dates... still getting to learn this thing. His was at the top at the time...

So, Sunday it is. Thank you all for taking your time--- happy real estate to you all.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Mark - that was my point way back at the beginning (2 consumers did respond - Dan & Rock).

The irony is, an agent was awarded best answer, even though the question wasn't directed at agents......go figure.........maybe I am too literal or exacting! :) I always used to color in the lines!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Alas, not one answer from a consumer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
The quick answer is "Sunday" in our neck of the woods.

Keep in mind; Open House turnout and effectiveness vary from home to home and area to area. The great thing about a secluded home location is low traffic. The horrible thing about a secluded home location is low traffic. You can use signs, internet & print for pulling people to your Open Houses but at the end of the day it depends on the home and the location.

In general, we still do Open Houses but the turnout is in general very poor compared to a few years ago. Blame the internet.

Good luck.
Web Reference: http://www.lexre.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Thanks for all of your answers guys---- I agree with your responses that open houses are a tool to get buyers! So what is the best day to hold an open house?! Saturday or Sunday?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Rock - "big time facebooger"? I hope that "g" was suppoed to be a "k"...........

I perfectly understand the idea of having freedom to wander in and out of open houses...........and I do';t like to have a salesperson lurking in the shadows, following me around, either.............however........

Tell Mrs Rock, if she comes to one of my open houses, unfortunately, she will have to put up with me following her around............reason being, as a security measure, I feel I owe it to the seller who has opened their home to random strangers coming from a sign or the internet............I would never let anyone roam around a home unaccompanied.

Now, if Mrs Rock and I were buddies already.....had developed a rapport, and had an ongoing buyer/agent relationship, instead of shadowing her, I'd be trying to help her figure out if that big old king size four poster bed and double armoire you had would fit in the master bedroom we were looking at. i don't do hard sells, in fact I have been known to turn to my buyer and say, "this one isn't for you, let's leave! ! ha....

Now, go back and ask her if she wants to hang with me! :)

Since the original question didn't ask for an agent's opinion, I'm not going to debate the value, or lack thereof, of open houses.......overall..their success, in my opinion, is area specific..........for the most part, in MY area, they do not sell homes..........but they DO occasionally bring in potential new buyers for ME to take out at a later time.

I suppose one's idea of a "successful open house" depends on how you define success...was it successful for the seller, or for the agent?

Have a great Sunday!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
Open houses are an essential part of marketng now that we have the Internet for searching out properties! Many prospective buyers attend open houses without a realtor because they do not want to feel "pressured"!
If they like the property they come back with their realtor for a second look and to discuss privately with the realtor how much they should offer for the home.

Even if the people viewing the home are just "nosy neighbors" it pays to have them come through as many of them have family or friends they would like to have move nearby.

As a realtor I never think open houses are a waste of time - I have sold many properties due to holding open houses!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
Thumbs up for Rockinblu again from me:) I am an agent and I have gotten some of my best clients from open houses. I like them for attracting clients and would love it if the house sold as well, but I have never ever sold the house via an open house in ten years. I am very honest with my sellers on this point.

Open houses are great exposure for the house because all the neighbors come by and see what is going on in there and they might talk about it to someone so that is good, but they are overall not the most effective tool for actually selling the house.
Web Reference: http://www.cooperjacobs.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010

In our location "open houses" are a rich resource for new customers.....not necessarily the best means to sell the subject property. We would definitely not consider them "a thing of the past."

The timing and location of an open house are keys to their success. Offering open houses in a difficult to get to remote location could be a wasted effort.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
I have never stopped doing Open Houses! It makes it personallized to communicate with all potential clients that are willing to buy a home. My selling clients always enjoy Open Houses being done. You always have a good chance to pick up new buyers. And I agree with Sandra Make sure you do it on a non eventful day like Superbowl.
Web Reference: http://www.maryjodaly.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 12, 2010
Hi Nicole-

I am an agent in South Florida and I do hold open houses. I have had mixed results with open houses. The last one I had I gained a very serious buyer that I am still working with. I didn't sell the house to anyone who came to the open house but I did get a great buyer and my sellers felt really good that I made the effort. The most important thing is to remember not to schedule it during a good football game!

Good luck!
Sandra Rathe
EWM Realtors.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 12, 2010
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